With winter snow and ice now covering the roadways, safety and high performing roadways are a concern for most drivers. According to the Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA), the roads surrounding Stillwater are some of the best in the country.
The APA presented the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) with the 2013 Perpetual Pavement Award for Trunk Highway 95 in Washington County.
This year’s Perpetual Pavement Award covers the 5-mile stretch of Trunk Highway 95, starting in Bayport and running south along the Minnesota–Wisconsin border. The section of road being honored was completed in 1961, and it received a 3-inch asphalt overlay in 1992. In 2000, a 2-inch mill-and-fill resurfacing was performed on the road. According to MnDOT, the stretch averages 13,500 vehicles per day.
Highway 95 is not the only nationally-awarded road in the area. Back in 2008, the award was given to Trunk Highway 36 for the section of road beginning at the Wisconsin border and running west five miles.
“Since 2001, nearly 100 asphalt pavements across the country have earned this distinguished award, which recognizes roads that are at least 35 years old but have never experienced a structural failure,” said T. Carter Ross, of the APA. “In fact, MnDOT has been honored more than any other state — 12 times, every year since 2002 — for constructing long-lasting asphalt roads.”
The award is given to roadways that are at least 35 years old and have never had a structural failure. The average interval between resurfacing of each winning pavement must be no less than 12 years.
“The road must demonstrate the characteristics expected from long-life asphalt pavements: excellence in design, quality in construction and value for the traveling public,” Ross said. “The winning pavements range in age from 35 years to 75 years, and the average age was 43 years at the time the award was won.”
The award is judged by a group of engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT).
For MnDOT, the Perpetual Pavement Award means long-term cost savings. In the 53 years since Highway 95 was constructed, the awarded section of pavement has only needed two minor maintenance projects. These minor projects also cut down on driver delays, with shorter work windows and projects can completed outside of peak traffic hours.
“This award supports the belief we have at MnDOT that investing in pavements at the right time is cost effective and prolongs the life of the asset,” said Susan Mulvihill, MnDOT deputy commissioner and chief engineer. “Perpetual Pavements, such as this segment, provide a solid return on the investment made by the citizens of our state.”
Mulvihill believes this award is a testament to the quality of roads in Minnesota, like Highway 95, that can withstand decades of use from heavy commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles and daily passenger commuting traffic.
Contact Alicia Lebens at [email protected]